Zimbabwe Talks Are Set To Be Referred Back To Zuma

A source involved in the talks, taking place in the resort town of Nyanga, under the watchful eye of Zuma’s facilitating team, told Radio
VOP, Wednesday that only a few issues were still under dispute.

“We are almost there, we have been working hard and I can tell you that most of the 27 outstanding issues have been agreed with only very few issues set to be referred to President Zuma by end of day,” said the source who would not reveal what exactly are the issues still
under dispute.

The talks which began last year following the formation of a coalition government between long time rivals President Robert Mugabe and former opposition leader and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, have been dragging on since with no end in sight.

Tsvangirai told his weekly newsletter on Wednesday, that he will be asking Zuma to call upon the regional SADC body to intervene to break the political deadlock in Zimbabwe, a sign that the current round of talks might not be making  any progressing on key dispute issues. Tsvangirai said he wants SADC to solve Zimbabwe’s political woes “once and for all.”

A visit by Zuma two weeks ago ignited hope that a solution was within reach. At the end of his visit Zuma told the media that the
parties had agreed on a package of measures that will lead to an agreement. But Mugabe poured scorn on these comments last week
when he told his Zanu PF party’s politburo meeting that nothing had been agreed saying an agreement will only be reached when western countries remove targeted sanctions imposed on him and his allies are removed.

Contacted for a comment, one of the negotiators, Welshman Ncube of the smaller Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party said, “We look to conclude the talks today and a report will be forwarded to President Zuma.”

The coalition government has stabilised the country’s economy since its formation last year although key political reforms are yet to be
implemented threatening to reverse the gains made thus far.

As part of the reform agenda, the MDC wants the unilateral appointment of the Attorney General and Reserve Bank Governor by Mugabe rescinded. It also wants its officials appointed to five provincial governorships posts as well as the dropping of charges against its Deputy Agriculture designate Minister, Roy Bennet and his subsequent appointment into government.

On the other hand Mugabe and his Zanu PF party wants targeted sanctions imposed on him and members of his party dropped and also for the MDC to ensure that so-called pirate radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe are closed.